Punk health

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/2 17:43:40

Su Quanxin Photo: Courtesy of Zhu Meiling

Like many places in the world, how to maintain a healthy lifestyle is a popular topic in China, where it is known as yangsheng.  

However, the busy schedule of young people today keeps many of them from doing all they can to stay in shape. This is why a new concept called pengke (Punk style) yangsheng has been gradually catching on among some Chinese, especially among those in their 20s and 30s. 

While yangsheng stresses taking time out of one's schedule to lead a healthier life, punk health is more about squeezing in healthy habits into the day to make up for other unhealthy habits.  

For instance, traditional ideas about health in China encourage people to go to bed early, as getting enough sleep is supposed to be good for your skin. Yet many young Chinese simply don't have time or are unwilling to waste time sleeping. This is where punk health comes in, which advocates trusting one's skin to expensive facial masks instead of sleep. Another example, is drinking. While some people decide to forgo beer for hot tea with goji berries, punk health advocates feel that you can keep drinking beer, so long as you also down just as much goji berry tea. 

The rising popularity of punk health has sparked concern from experts. Su Quanxin, from the China Association of Chinese Medicine, is critical of the trend. In an article in China's edition of Cosmopolitan, Su argued that the new trend does not benefit people's health at all, and in fact may do more harm than good.

Pointing to trying to make up for excess drinking by drinking tea, Su noted that as healthy as goji berries can be, they can not reverse damage already done to one's liver through alcohol. 

Traditional Chinese medicine focuses just as much on proactively taking care of one's health by maintaining inner balance, rather than trying to take care of problems only after they have appeared. As such, long-term sleep deprivation, or staying up late, will have a negative impact on the body that cannot easily be fixed using the tricks advocated by punk health. 

"Yangsheng is not about chasing trends. It's a scientific way of life and a positive attitude towards life. Methods [such as punk health] are like saying 'first kill me and then try to heal me,' which will do absolutely no good," concluded Su.     


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